The Shannon Hoboken

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September 3, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: Carpe Diem in Hoboken

After a successful, but parade-less Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day, my brunch buddy and I were lucky enough to enjoy Sunday brunch with a few more people than usual.  Joined by The Drunken Polar Bear, his girl friend Sue, and his friend Enrique, we ventured to one of uptown Hoboken’s hidden gems, Carpe Diem.  Carpe Diem is located right underneath the viaduct on the corner of 14th and Grand.

Carpe Diem is the perfect place for a post movie drink and dinner is pretty good too.  My favorite spot is the two chairs in the dining area right next to the fire.  It is perfect for enjoying a delicious drink on a chilly night.

Challenged to find a place that would give us the greasy and tasty food we were craving after a long day/night of celebrating, we decided Carpe Diem was the place to try.  It also didn’t hurt that Carpe Diem is right up the street – easy to get to with little effort!

Here is my recap.

No Wait.  Since we all had a pretty long Saturday, it took us awhile to get ourselves together and ready for brunch. We met at Carpe Diem at noon and, lucky for us, there was only one other table full. Surprisingly, there were more people seated at the bar than in the dining area of brunch.

Since it was nearly empty, our waitress let us choose where we wanted to sit.  We decided on a table right up against the outside window.  We had plenty of space to spread out and recap our crazy nights.

Warm, Welcoming Environment.  Unlike many of the typical bar/restaurants on the Hoboken scene, Carpe Diem has a unique, neighborhood feel.  Whenever I have been in there, it seems like everyone knows everyone.

On their website, they have the phrase “welcome stranger, farewell friend.”  I think that perfectly sums up the inviting, comfortable atmosphere.  The music is never too loud and you can easily sit at the bar for a casual drink, chat with friends, the bartenders or even strangers.

Breakfast/Lunch Selections.  Carpe Diem has a large, diverse brunch menu, but a majority of it focuses on lunch selections.  On the breakfast side they have frittatas, egg sandwiches and an Irish Breakfast.  The “create your own breakfast” sandwich gives you the choice of breakfast meat:  bacon, ham, sausage or turkey (sadly no Taylor ham) and a pick of a variety of cheeses to add to your egg.  They can be put on a Kaiser roll, seven grain bread, white bread or Texas toast (my favorite).  Sandwich are served with a choice of home fries, French fries, sweet potato fries or yogurt.

My friend Sue decided on the create your own breakfast sandwich with egg whites, bacon and mozzarella.  She thought it was delicious and loved that she had so many options for creating a delicious, customized breakfast sandwich.

For the lunch, there are salads, burgers and sandwiches. There are five different salad choices:  house, harvest (baked brie, walnuts, raisins and tomatoes), Caesar, pear (pears, walnuts, blue cheese) and orange chicken salad.  For the sandwiches, they have a number of choices including chicken and mozzarella, buffalo chicken and katie’s way – open faced turkey sandwich with bacon and gruyere with gravy.  One thing that I love about Carpe Diem’s sandwiches is that you can order them in a peckish (a little hungry) or lee (very hungry) portion.

Frittatas.  Carpe Diem has a number of delicious sounding frittatas, something not typical on brunch menus.  The Brie Frittata immediately jumped out at me.  It is made with brie, bacon and tomatoes.  After initially sounding great, I decided I would prefer to have Swiss instead of brie and no tomatoes, so instead of annoying the waitress with my substitutions, I decided to keep looking for a better option.

I decided on the Western Frittata.  It is made with cheddar cheese, red and green peppers, onions and ham.  I was amazing!  The portion was perfect and packed with a ton of flavor.  For my side, I chose the potato hash.  Potatoes are mixed in with peppers and onions.  There was a little heat to the potatoes adding a great compliment to the frittata.

The Morning After.  Carpe Diem has an array of burgers on their brunch menu.  A few of the delicious choices include the Brie Burger; bacon, melted brie and fresh herbs, the California Burger, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and a cilantro jalapeno sauce and Claire’s Favorite, gorgonzola cheese and thin crisp onions.

All three of the guys picked the perfect burger for their first meal after a long day of drinking, The Morning After. The Morning After Burger is piled high with cheddar cheese, bacon, a friend egg, lettuce and tomato and finished off with a garlic aioli spread.

The burgers come with a choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, soup or salad.  My brunch buddy picked the sweet potato fries – definitely the right choice.  They were served with an aioli dipping sauce that was amazing.  I took a few fries from him while he was not looking.  All three of the guys loved it, which you could easily see since all three of them finished every bite!

Out of five spoons, I give Carpe Diem four.  All five of us really enjoyed our meals.  Everything tasted delicious and the service was great.  My favorite parts were the home fries and of course the sweet potato fries with the aioli dipping sauce.  Amazing!

Carpe Diem is a great, local hangout that really makes you feel at home.  It is definitely worth making the trek uptown for a drink or grabbing a pre beer garden dinner.  And on Thursday nights Carpe Diem offers half off bottles of wine.

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June 15, 2012

Father’s Day Specials and Events in Hoboken Sunday June 17th

Here are some Father’s Day specials and events in Hoboken for Father’s Day Sunday June 17th….

Pilsener Haus Family Fun Day with Big Jeff and the Bouncy People

Big Jeff & The Bouncy People, the Jammin’ Family Band, will jam out at the Biergarten located at 1422 Adams Street in Hoboken. Unique, soaring harmony groove that bounces between the Beatles and the Wiggles. This show will include a whole bunch of country-rockin’ original tunes, well-known children’s favorites, and family-friendly classic rock. The last Fun Day with Big Jeff was entertaining and well performed. Come for brunch, bring the kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews and especially dad… come one, come all! The performance runs  Sunday June 17th from 12:30-4:30pm.

Dads Eat Free at Hoboken Wicked Wolf

Dads eat free at the Hoboken Wicked Wolf on June 17th with the purchase of an entree of equal value. The wicked Wolf is located along Hoboken’s Fabulous Waterfront at 120 Sinatra Drive. Call 201-659-7500 for more information.

Father’s Day Beer Brunch at Village Pourhouse

The Village Pourhouse in Hoboken, located at 205 1st Street is having a Father’s Day Beer Brunch with select drafts all day for only $4 and a special brunch menu from 11am -3pm. For Reservations email emily@funbars.com

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May 15, 2012

Turning Point Cares for Kids- Brunch Fundraiser Saturday May 19th from 8am to 3pm

Turning Point is putting on a Fundraiser this Saturday to help benefit Hudson County CASA which supports children in foster care. Read below for details.

Turning Point Cares for Kids- Brunch Fundraiser Saturday May 19th from 8am to 3pm

Turning Point CASA Brunch May 19th 2012
Help support children in foster care while having brunch on the waterfront in Hoboken. Turning Point in Hoboken is running a special event for Hudson County CASA this Saturday, May 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come and enjoy brunch on Saturday. While you are there, make a $20 donation to CASA and receive a gift certificate for two entrees to be used at a later date. If you are unable to come on Saturday, you can stop by on Friday and support CASA that day. Turning Point offers delicious breakfast specials including Marsala Eggs Benedict and Belgian Waffles, and a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches to enjoy at lunchtime. Visit the website to learn more!  Link: Turning Point

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March 22, 2012

Palm Sunday Brunch at Dames Coffee and Espresso Bar Jersey City April 1st

Filed under: brunch,Coffee Shops,Restaurants — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 10:45 AM

For Palm Sunday, if you are willing to take a brief sojourn to neighboring Jersey City this could be a nice brunch option for you and the parents on April 1st which is also Palm Sunday. Below is a note from Meredith Chartier of Dames Coffee and espresso bar….

Palm Sunday Brunch

at Dames Coffee and Espresso Bar

April 1, 2012 from 10:30 am-2:00 pm

581 Jersey Ave, Jersey City NJ

Price: $25 per person

This is the first collaboration between Dames Coffee and Espresso Bar and With Love From the Cupboard, featuring pastry chef Nicole Juliano Peranick and savory chef Meredith Chartier.  The egg inspired menu will surely get you in the mood for all the wonders spring has to offer.

The brunch will include juice, tea, and Dames coffee prepared by extensively trained baristas.

The meal will begin with a Sweet Morning Bread Basket  including Spiced Apple Cake, Hollywood Loaf, Whole Wheat Soda Bread, Sweet Corn Muffins  prepared by Nicole Juliano Peranick, pastry chef and owner of With Love From the Cupboard.

Next the diners will have a choice of one of the following three savory dishes prepared by Meredith Chartier:  Salade Nicoise Classique, a classic Nicoise salad, Champignon et Fomage Quiche, mushroom and Ementaler quiche, and Pain aux Fraises, French toast filled strawberries and cream cheese.

Lastly, a Dessert Tasting Trio of Spiced Rose French Macarons, Crème Brûlée Profiteroles & Fleur de Sel Caramel Chocolate Cakelete prepared by Nicole Juliano Peranick.

The cost of the brunch is $25 per person.  It is BYO.  There will be outdoor seating available weather permitting. To make reservations, stop by the Dames counter in Jersey City (581 Jersey Ave), email Dames at damescoffee@gmail.com, or text your reservation to (203) 450-6342. A 50% deposit is required at the time of the reservation.  I have attached the complete menu.

Thank you,
Meredith Chartier

Below is the special brunch menu….

Note: Dames Coffee also has a location in Hoboken as well as Jersey City where this event is being held.

Dames Coffee (Hoboken Location)

Address:  305 1st Street Hoboken, NJ 07030-2432
Phone: 201-420-4706
Website:  http://www.damescoffee.com/

 

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February 23, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: Choc O Pain Hoboken

This week, my brunch buddy and I decided to go out for a casual weekday lunch instead of our typical weekend brunch date.  For the past few weeks, he has been telling me about a new French café, Choc O Pain, that opened in downtown Hoboken.  He had lunch there a few times and told me I’d love it.

Choc O Pain just opened in mid-January, so it is relatively new on the Hoboken scene.  It is located at 157 First Street, between Bloomfield and Garden Streets.  It happens to be right near one of my all-time favorite Hoboken bars, Mulligan’s.  I parked my car at a meter right out front and met my brunch buddy for what I hoped would be a delicious lunch.

Here is my recap.

Choc O Pain Hoboken Interior 1

Big Crowd, Even on a Weekday. 

My brunch buddy and I met up around 12:30, prime lunch hour.  I figured since it was a weekday and a relatively new place, it would not be too crowded.

I walked up to the counter, surveying the menu printed on chalkboards and hung on the walls and delicious treats in the glass cases.  I made my selection (I will get to that in a bit), told my brunch buddy and went off in search of a table.

Choc O Pain Hoboken Glass Case

There are three tables and one larger high table in the downstairs area.  All were completely full.  Choc O Pain is definitely the type of place where you can share a table with a stranger and still enjoy your meal, but I decided to venture upstairs to the second floor, figuring I would have more luck up there.  There were a number of tables, also all completely full.

I went back downstairs, ready to tell my brunch buddy the bad news, when a table opened up.  I slid into the seat, pulled out my laptop and connected to Choc O Pain’s free WIFI to catch up on some work.

One of my favorite things about Choc O Pain is the many little notes around the restaurant on black paper with silver marker.  There was one right on our table telling the WIFI name and password.  I was on the internet in seconds and caught up on my emails just as our lunch was served.

Choc O Pain Hoboken Interior 2Feel at Home. 

As soon as I walked in, I felt like I was entering a bistro in Paris.  Baskets of bread line the windows and fresh, delicious looking pastries practically jump out at you when you walk in.

There is nothing standard or typical about Choc O Pain.  While I was upstairs searching for a table, I could not get over how comfortable and at home I felt.  There were a number of unique tables with sofas and chairs.  They are grouped into little sections – almost like four separate living rooms, designed specifically for you to enjoy a carefree lunch.

The upstairs also has a play area with toys for little kids.  There are rubber play mats and a guard to protect the kids in the play area.  It is the perfect spot for a play date – mom’s can sit and chat while kids have plenty of toys to entertain themselves.

As I looked around, I saw a wide range of patrons at Choc O Pain; nurses on their lunch break, moms with babies, friends chatting about their days and tourists enjoying a casual lunch.  It offers the perfect lunch experience for anyone looking for a delicious meal and a new experience unlike anything else in Hoboken.

Sandwiches. 

Choc O Pain has a variety of sandwiches all displayed behind the glass.  They even have French specialties such as Croque Monsieur.

My brunch buddy ordered the Ham and Swiss on a baguette, his favorite on the Choc O Pain menu. Although the ingredients are delicious by themselves, at Choc O Pain, the bread is the star in the sandwiches. Baked fresh on the premises daily, the chewy, crusty baguette is perfect for a great sandwich. He’s tried most of the sandwiches here (tuna and roasted vegetable too), but the ham and Swiss is by far his favorite.


Choc O Pain Hoboken Sandwich

Quiche. 

When I walked up to the counter, my eyes bounced back and forth between all of the many options.  Everything looked delicious and I had no idea what to pick.  Then I saw a little sign for Quiche Lorraine – one of my favorites.  I saw a quiche with leeks and another with red and yellow peppers, but no Quiche Lorraine.  I asked one of the waitresses if they had any left, but they were out.  Ready to wait for them to prepare a new batch, they told me they would not be making any more until tomorrow.

Choc O Pain Hoboken

I decided instead of a sandwich, I would try one of the quiches that they did have.  What other item defines how great a French café really is?  I was torn between the pepper and leek.  I was not really sure how I would like the leek, so I asked a server what he thought was the best.  He told me without a doubt, the leek was amazing and that I would love it.

Wow was he right!   I am now a fan of leeks, absolutely delicious.  It was cooked just right, the center still a little moist and the crust crispy and flakey.  The portion was the perfect size and it was accompanied by a healthy, fresh side salad.  I tried to eat mine as quickly as I could, hoping my brunch buddy would not want a taste (it was so good, I did not want to share!).  He asked before I had a chance to finish and like me, he was absolutely hooked.  I ended up giving him one last bite before I finished it off!

Breads and Pastries. 

Choc O Pain Hoboken Bread

It is absolutely impossible for your mouth to not water as you ogle at the many freshly made pastries and breads behind the counter.  I told my brunch buddy it was an absolute must that we try at least one thing.

We decided on the choc o pain itself, chocolate baked into a pastry.  I referred to it as a chocolate croissant, but my brunch buddy quickly corrected me.

I love to get choc o pain from Au Bon Pain and although they are good there, this one blew me away.  It was very flaky, yet soft.  The chocolate on the inside was soft and still a little melted unlike most places where it is a little hard and dried up.

After eating our lunches and the choc o pain, we were not quite ready to finish up and leave.  We decided on one last treat, a berry tart with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  My brunch buddy told me he had never had a tart before, so he was looking forward to giving it a try.  I figured since there was some fresh fruit it had to be healthy!!

The fruit was very fresh, they could have added a bit more pastry cream.  Although it did taste very good, it was my least favorite item that I tried.  It also costs a little over $6.00, which seemed a bit steep for a fruit tart.

Choc O Pain Hoboken TartThe Verdict.

Out of five spoons, I give Choc O Pain four and half.  The atmosphere is so warm and inviting, I was actually disappointed when it was time to leave.  It is the perfect place to come for a casual meal when you are in no rush to be anywhere.  The food is amazing and the glass cases of tasty treats beckon you to try more.

If you are looking for something different than the delicious Italian bakeries in town, it is the perfect spot to pick up bread or pastries before a dinner party.  Choc O pain is a great new and different addition to the Hoboken restaurant scene.  Definitely a must try!

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February 12, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: The Malibu Diner

Saturday morning my brunch buddy and I were catching up on Top Chef Texas reruns, one of our favorite shows.  Their quick fire challenge was to make a whimsical pancake for Pee-wee Herman.  As we watched the chefs prepare delicious ricotta pancakes and crazy sprinkle filled pancakes, we both decided a pancake brunch needed to be in our immediate future.

After scanning the menus of a few brunch places in search of a delicious pancake selection, my brunch buddy suggested that we try the Malibu Diner.

The Malibu Diner is located at 257 14th Street, right on the corner of 14th and Park.  Believe it or not, after living so close to it, I have never actually been there – not even for a late night post-bar snack.  He promised great pancakes, so I was sold!

Here is my recap.

Parking Right out Front.  My brunch buddy called his friend Chris to come join us for brunch.  We hopped in my car and drove over to the Malibu Diner.  At first I was concerned about trying to park, but then remembered the parking lot in the front and side of the diner.  To be able to drive and park (without having to pay) right in front of a restaurant is a huge bonus for a place in Hoboken.  So even though the walk is quick, it was great to be a little lazy and just jump in the car and not have to deal with finding a spot.

Not So Great Service. After we met Chris, we sat down and read through our menus (obviously turning straight to the pancake section).  We decided on our meals, closed our menus and waited…and waited and waited, but our waitress did not come.  After about ten minutes, she finally arrived and took our order.  Luckily, our food came out pretty quickly, because by then we were starving.

After we were done eating we again waited quite awhile for our plates to be cleared and the check to arrive.  As Chris pointed out, we were at a diner, so we should not expect amazing service.  Although it was slow, our waitress was friendly enough.  We weren’t in a rush to leave breakfast, so it just gave us extra time to sit and relax.

Plenty of Menu Choices.  One of the things that always deters me from going to a diner is their incredibly large selection of meals.  I always think that if a menu has that many items, they can’t possibly make them taste great.  But if you are looking for a quick, cheap breakfast, diners are the way to go.

In addition to a large selection of pancakes (I’ll get to them in a minute), they have eggs any way you could possibly dream; omelets, skillets and benedicts.  They also have Belgian waffles, French toast and even bagels.  Regardless of what you are in the mood for, they most likely have it on their menu.

My brunch buddy was toying with the idea of ordering a side of bacon, but at the last minute decided on a halved cantaloupe.  He loved it.  He thought it was very fresh and a great healthy snack to hold him over until our meal arrived.

Lots of Pancakes.  Just as my brunch buddy said, the Malibu Diner has a ton of pancake varieties.  They have fresh fruit, cinnamon raisin, peach n’ cream, peanut butter and chocolate chip and apple walnut pancakes.

My brunch buddy made a healthy substitution and ordered whole wheat pancakes with blueberries.  Expecting fresh blueberries, he was very disappointed to see the blueberry compote on his pancakes.  He hoped that fresh blueberries would be mixed in with the batter.  He ended up wiping off the syrupy blueberry compote with his fork and eating them semi plain.

Chris ordered banana peanut butter pancakes.  Unlike my brunch buddy, he loved his, commenting that they were definitely a four spoon pancake.  He also ordered a side of bacon, which was placed right on top of his pancakes.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  After debating between banana walnut or chocolate chip pancakes, I decided on chocolate chip.  They are usually my all-time favorite and I was definitely in the mood for something chocolate-y.  I was served three large pancakes, with mini chocolate chips mixed right into the batter.

They were a little dry and the chocolate chips on one side of the pancakes were burnt.  The only syrup option was in a small plastic container, which did not taste that great – I am a big fan of real Vermont maple syrup.

Out of five spoons, I give the Malibu Diner three.  With such a large and diverse menu, there is sure to be something to please everyone in your brunch party.  Sadly though, the taste definitely does not compete with the many great brunch spots in Hoboken.

The pancakes were good and since all three of us got them, maybe something else on the menu would have tasted a bit better.  Since it is one of the only true diners in Hoboken, it’s clean, large and a great place to stop for any meal of the day or even a late night snack since the Malibu is open 24/7.

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January 20, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: The Hoboken Gourmet Company

This week, my brunch buddy was a little under the weather, so we decided to mix up our typical weekend brunch outing and order take out instead.  Since it was absolutely freezing out Sunday morning, I wanted to pick a place close by so that I did not have to be out in the bitter cold for too long.

After debating between a few options, we decided on The Hoboken Gourmet Company.  It is located in midtown Hoboken at 423 Washington Street.

It is pretty easy to miss this great little spot if you aren’t paying attention.  I have walked past it many times, without even realizing it was there.  Luckily for me, my brunch buddy lives a few buildings down. He always says it is a great place for breakfast, lunch or even to sit and enjoy a coffee.

Here’s my recap:

Adorable Inside.  Three steps down on Washington lead you into a charming, quaint space, perfect for enjoying a morning meal.  Being that I did not get to eat in, I spent a few minutes taking in the atmosphere while waiting for our food to be ready.

Since it is so easy to miss this great little spot, I was happy to see so many people inside.  There are about eight tables and when I arrived around 10:30, they were all full.  There were a variety of people: families, college kids and groups of friends.  Everyone looked relaxed and excited about enjoying their delicious meals.

A counter is located at the front.  Behind it, there were different pastries and muffins that look absolutely amazing.  At the table closest to the door, two little girls were enjoying large chocolate chip muffins.  They looked great – I was very jealous I did not order one for myself.

Quick for takeout.  Although they had a full restaurant, our meal was still ready in about 15 minutes.  Since the counter is right up front, it was very easy to walk in and pick up our food.  It is set to the left of the tables, so I did not have to dodge chairs, tables and people.  I was able to run in and grab my food, without interrupting anyone’s meals or bothering any of the waitresses.

Lots of Eggs.  Hoboken Gourmet Company’s breakfast menu is dominated by egg dishes.  They offer a variety of omelets:  Garden Omelet with red and green peppers, onions, tomatoes and mozzarella, Italian Omelet with arugula, basil and goat cheese and Western Omelet with peppers, ham, tomatoes, onions and cheddar.

In addition to omelets, they have Huevos Rancheros and Lydia’s Breakfast Tacos.  I have obviously heard of Huevos Rancheros, but was very interested in what breakfast tacos would be like.  Three scrambled eggs are mixed with chrizo, cilantro and jalapenos and the wrapped in two corn tortillas and served with beans and salsa.

My brunch buddy ordered Three Eggs Any Style.  He chose scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese.  It was served with home fries, corned beef hash and Italian toast.  Usually a skeptic of take-out breakfast, he thought it tasted just as good as if we were enjoying it at the restaurant.  He really liked the corned beef hash!

If you are not in the mood for eggs, there are only three items on the breakfast menu that are not egg based.  They have yogurt with granola and fresh berries, oatmeal with fruit and a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato and onions.

Omelet.  Since I did not want any of the omelets on the menu, I decided to make my own.  I ordered an egg white omelet with cheddar cheese, ham and onions.  This tends to be my go-to omelet of choice and I seem to be trying it out all over Hoboken.  And this was definitely one of my favorites!  Sometimes egg white omelets are a little dry and lack the flavor of a regular omelet, but this one was amazing.  It had great flavor and while eating it, I almost forgot I went for the slightly healthier route.

The omelet was served with a side of delicious home fries.  Instead of typical toast, I really liked that Hoboken Gourmet Company served it with smaller slices of Italian bread.

Lunch Options.  The Hoboken Gourmet Company has a large lunch menu.  They have six delicious sounding salads.  There is the Hoboken Gourmet Mango Salad, baby green, tomatoes, red onion, pecans and mangoes tossed in a citrus dressing.  They also have a Warm Grilled Chicken Salad with blue cheese, avocado, roasted red peppers, cranberries and sunflower seeds tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

There are also a number of wraps and sandwiches.  They have all of the basic types of sandwiches, tuna salad, chicken salad, fresh mozzarella and ham and swiss.  The turkey, brie and honey Dijon sandwich sounds delicious.  They also serve one of my favorite cold weather lunches, soup and grilled cheese with tomato.  In addition to these sandwiches they also have a few types of pasta and a chicken entrée.

Even if you are not in the mood for a meal, The Hoboken Gourmet Company has a great variety of coffees and teas.  At the front of the restaurant, in one of the window areas, they have a coffee and tea station for customers to prepare their drinks.  It is the perfect place to warm up on a cold day and enjoy a coffee or pastry with a friend!

Out of five spoons, I give The Hoboken Gourmet Company three and a half.  Although I did not get to enjoy the experience of dining in, I loved the welcoming atmosphere on the place.  My brunch buddy and I both loved our breakfasts (I am even thinking about going back tomorrow!).  If eggs are not your favorite and you are looking for more diversity in a breakfast place, this may not be the best place for you.  But definitely give them a try for lunch!

 

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January 14, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: Marty O’Brien’s Hoboken

This Sunday, my brunch buddy and I took a walk downtown for brunch at Marty O’Brien’s.  It was my second time at this relatively new bar since it opened in early fall.  Although I was a fan of Busker’s, I was very excited to try out their brunch and see how the space had changed.

Marty O’Brien’s is located on the corner of 1st and Bloomfield Streets.  Upon walking into Marty O’Brien’s, you immediately enter the bar area.  They have a decent size bar and numerous tables up against the windows.  There were a bunch of televisions and even a projector screen set and ready for the big game.

As you continue to walk through, there are two other rooms perfect for enjoying a meal.  New black and white printed wallpaper and maroon accent walls have been added, creating an old fashioned, welcoming dining experience.

Here is my recap.

Free Mimosas and Blood Mary’s.  As our waiter sat us down, he told us that they offer complimentary Mimosas and Blood Mary’s with brunch.  What could be better?  I was very excited.

I ordered a Mimosa and my brunch buddy chose a Bloody Mary.  Both drinks were a great size for being free – they did not skimp at all!  The Mimosa was very tasty and a great way to cap off a weekend.  My brunch buddy also enjoyed his Blood Mary.  He said it was on the spicy side, which he enjoyed.

Great Variety.  Marty O’Brien’s brunch menu has a great variety of both breakfast items and lunch items.  At first, I was quite torn between lunch and breakfast.  On the lunch menu, the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich and the Turkey Club immediately jumped out at me.  I figured my brunch buddy was going to choose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  It has marinated chicken with mozzarella roasted red peppers, arugula, tomato and pesto on a roll.  But he surprised me and went with breakfast.

If you are looking for the perfect combination of breakfast and lunch, try the Hangover Burger.  It is an 8 ounce burger topped with taylor ham, egg and cheese on a brioche roll.  The best of both worlds!

The breakfast menu includes Crab Cake Benedict, Breakfast Burrito, Belgian Waffles and Housemade Pancakes.  Two items that sounded amazing were the Bananas Foster and the Stuffed Pancakes.  For the Bananas Foster, homemade pancakes are topped with fresh bananas, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon (sounds super sweet!) and a side of bacon or sausage.  The Stuffed Pancakes are filled with cheese and seasonal fruit, also served with a side of bacon or sausage.

French Toast.  In the end, I decided on breakfast.  Two slices of brioche toast are topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a few drops of whipped cream made up Marty O’Brien’s French Toast.  I chose sausage as my side.

The French Toast was delicious and tasty.  I loved the side of maple syrup that was included, which tasted more like pure maple syrup rather than Aunt Jemima.

No Irish Breakfast.   When my brunch buddy saw the menu, he was very excited to try the Irish Breakfast.  It consists of two eggs any style, Irish bacon, sausage, baked beans, black and white pudding, Irish soda bread and tomatoes.  Although it seemed like an odd breakfast to me, I was looking forward to a piece of Irish soda bread.

After placing our order, our waiter came back over to tell us they were out of some components for the Irish Breakfast.  He made a panicked and hasty decision to have the Eggs Benedict instead.

Luckily, he wasn’t disappointed.  The eggs were poached perfectly, and the hollandaise sauce was superb.  As a big Eggs Benedict fan who has tried them at many places, these were the best “straightforward” version that he’s had.

Great Service.  Midway through our meal, Giants fans started rolling in for the big game.  Even as the place started to fill up and the wait staff became busier, we never felt neglected or rushed to leave our table to make room for another party.  Our waiter came over numerous times to make sure everything was great  and that we didn’t need anything else.  You can tell that Marty O’Brien’s focuses on making everyone feel welcome, and makes sure your experience is enjoyable.

Out of five spoons, I give Marty O’Brien’s four (remember, tough 2012 grading!).  This is the kind of place I can imagine becoming someone’s go-to brunch place.  Not too many frills, but the food, atmosphere and price are just right.  And a free morning cocktail makes it even better!

Marty O’Brien’s is located at 94 Bloofield Street, Hoboken NJ.

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January 13, 2012

Marty O’Brien’s New Lunch Menu Drink Specials and Upcoming Events

Marty O'Briens Hoboken

Marty O’Brien’s has some new announcements about their menu and events. They have a new  lunch menu that will be served Thursday and Friday 11:30am to 4pm.

Thursday – Friday Lunch menu: http://theboken.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Marty-OBriens-Lunch-Menu.pdf

 

Monday – Friday 4-8 Happy Hour Drink Specials:

  • $3 Coors light drafts
  • $3 Yuengling
  • $4 draft beer
  • $5 house wine
  • $ 5 Stoli Vodka mixers

Saturday and Sunday Brunch they are calling "Boozy Brunch":

Marty O'Brien's Boozy Brunch

They also have the following upcoming events…

Saved by the Bell Trivia by Trivia AD Wednesday January 18th:

Marty O'Brien's Saved by the Bell

Comedy night Wednesday  January 25th:

Marty O'Brien's Comedy NightOpen mic night Sunday January 29th:

Marty O'Brien's Open Mic Night

Marty O’Brien’s Social Club

94 Bloomfield Street Hoboken, NJ 07030

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January 7, 2012

Christin’s Morning Spoon: The Clinton Social in Hoboken

After a great holiday season, I started 2012 off right with a New Year’s Day brunch at The Clinton Social.  It is located at 700 Clinton Street, on the corner of Clinton and 7th Streets, right across the street from A&P.  They are open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at noon.

I have been to The Clinton Social a few times for dinner, but never tried their brunch.  For New Year’s Day, they had a brunch special:  an entrée and two brunch cocktails, bloody Mary, mimosa, draft beer or house wine, for $20.  Unfortunately, my brunch buddy and I were never told about the deal and only saw it advertised as we paid the check.

Here’s my recap.

Two rooms, two different feels.  As you walk into The Clinton Social, the first room is the bar.  There is a large bar with TVs perfect for watching the game, and there are high tables up against the windows.  The bar area was partially filled with quite the noisy crowd.  Since we had a late New Year’s Eve and were looking for a quieter meal, we decided to sit in the back room.

The back room has a completely different feel from the bar section.  The exposed brick and brightly painted walls bring light into the area, creating a warm and inviting space.  This gives it more an upscale feel in contrast with the front bar. The back area has about fifteen tables.  The hostess offered to seat us at a table next to two families with little children or at a table in the middle of the walkway.  When we asked if we could sit in the back corner by the windows, we were told that all of the tables had reservations, so there were only a limited number of tables to chose from.  We chose the table in the walkway, and by the end of our meal, only one table was seated!

Small Breakfast Menu.  The Clinton Social’s brunch menu only has a limited selection of brunch items.  Although there are only eight items, the menu is very diverse.  They have steak & eggs, a smoked salmon platter, French toast and short rib hash.  The most interesting item on the menu was the Eggs David.  It is The Clinton Social’s unique spin on Eggs Benedict.  English muffins are topped with meatloaf, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.  It is definitely not something I would try, but my brunch buddy said that was his second choice.

The Clinton Social does have a larger menu with lunch items.  There are numerous appetizers, my favorite of which is the artichoke and goat cheese pierogies.  My girlfriends and I shared them the last time we were there and absolutely loved them.  There are a few choices of sliders, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and even pasta.  If you are looking for a more of a lunch spot, this is your place.  They also have a number of lunch cocktails if a liquid lunch is more your speed!

Huevos Rancheros.  Instead of the Eggs David, my brunch buddy ordered the Huevos Rancheros.  Black beans, jalapenos, avocado and sour cream are served with eggs made your way and placed atop a corn tortilla.  He chose two sunny side up eggs.  He liked that Clinton Social did something a little different with the meal, but felt like they sacrificed practicality for presentation when they fanned out the three tortillas around the eggs in the middle. Overall, he said they were among his favorite huevos in town, after he got through the ordeal of rearranging his plate.

I have actually never tried Huevos Ranceros.  I always thought eggs combined with the fixings for an amazing burrito are a bit too odd for a morning meal.  Boy was I wrong!  I skeptically tried his brunch and I was instantly overcome with food envy.  It was amazing.  I loved the mix of flavors that were in every bite, absolutely amazing.

The Social Breakfast.  I was truthfully stumped over what to order for brunch.  I did not really feel like pancakes and I had French toast the day before.  So after I bit of deliberating, I decided on The Social Breakfast.  Although I thought it was a bit too much food, I went for it anyway.   It consists of two eggs any style, bacon or sausage, home fries, toast and two pancakes. I chose scrambled eggs with a bit of cheddar cheese and asked if I could have it without the pancakes. My brunch buddy scoffed at me giving up food, and gladly offered to eat a few bites of them for me.

When my meal arrived, it turned out not to be as big as I was expecting.  There were only two slices of bacon and the pancakes were actually very tiny.  Even though I initially wanted to eliminate the pancakes, they were actually my favorite part – just the right amount of vanilla; sweet and powerful, without being overbearing.

A Bit Expensive.   Almost all of the items on the brunch menu are around $12-$14.  The most expensive, the short rib hash is $18.  My brunch buddy’s Huevos Rancheros were $12 and my social breakfast was $14 ($15 after they tacked on a dollar for cheese).  Although it may not seem like that much, for the portion size, I thought that it was a little pricey.  They also did not give a bread basket which is a huge letdown to me!

I was recently told that I was a bit too generous with my spoons last year, so for 2012, I will be a bit tougher.  Out of five spoons, I give The Clinton Social three.  As a whole it was a good brunch, but lacked the variety of breakfast choices that I was really hoping for.  Although my brunch buddy and I both enjoyed our meals, for the price, we felt that the food could have been a bit tastier.

Next week, I will be brunching at Marty O’Briens Social Club.  It is a newly redone bar/restaurant on the corner of 1st and Bloomfield, where Buskers used to be.

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